Mud In Your Eye: What Should We Expect From Eldora?

By jamesharris
Sam Sharpe – USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR sees a return to a dirt track, the first National Series dirt race in 42 years. The fans are obviously thrilled and looking forward to the much-anticipated Camping World Truck Series event as it’s already sold out. So, what exactly has made this race an exceptional ticket seller?

Ohio’s Eldora half-mile oval track offers a different way of racing due to its unique surface. But the CarCash Mudsummer Classic on Wednesday night also has become one of the most discussed events of the entire NASCAR season.

The usual asphalt tracks provide the cars with a good amount of grip, enabling the drivers to push hard, whereas dirt has a loose top layer, making it slippery. To go faster, drivers will have to throw their trucks sideways around the bends.

Unlike asphalt where the drivers pick their line, there’s no set path on dirt as the track is constantly changing depending on how quickly the track dries out. Even the tires will be different. Goodyear will be providing a softer, more compliant rubber compound that includes a tread.

Truck Series drivers will also face an entirely different race and qualifying format. Unlike the usual NASCAR races in which the starting grid is determined by single-car, two-lap runs, the CarCash Mudsummer Classic will follow a traditional dirt format with heat races before the main event.

Once the 150-lap main event begins, it will be split into three segments (60 laps, 50 laps and 40 laps).

After 42 years, with the evolution of technology, just what will we be in for on Wednesday? Just how will the heavier, less agile trucks handle on the dirt?

I know I’ll be tuning in to find out.

James Harris is a NASCAR writer for Follow him @gentlemanity and “Like” him Facebook or add him to your network on Google+.

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